The Caledonia/Spring Grove/Houston soccer girls (4-9-2, 1-8-1 TRC) closed the regular season with a 2-2 overtime conference tie at La Crescent -Hokah on Oct. 5, followed two nights later by a 9-0 non-conference home rout of Triton and then on Saturday, a come-from-behind 5-4 non-conference road victory at Lake City. Ayshia Gay scored six goals in only two appearances while Hailey Alfson added another half-dozen goals and Therese Jore two. The Warriors, with the No. 7 seed, open postseason play at No. 2 Dover-Eyota (12-3-1) on Oct. 13. The Eagles twice defeated Cal/SG/Hou during the regular season.
Cal/SG/Hou 2, at La Crescent-Hokah 2 (overtime)
The Warriors were eager to again face the Lancers, who previously had scored in the final nine seconds to win 2-1 at Caledonia. Again Cal/SG/Hou took the lead, this time on an Alfson free kick from 25 yards out that went over the goalkeeper and off the far post. The Warriors led 1-0 at halftime. “Hailey has put in a few free kicks and has been dangerous around the box on free kicks,” said coach Chris Jandt.
The Lancers tied the score in the 72nd minute from close range. In the first 10-minute overtime period, the Warriors went ahead again with a Jore goal from 25 to 30 yards out that deflected by a Lancer defender. La Crescent-Hokah, with a shot beyond the 18-yard box, evened the count again with fewer than two minutes left in the second overtime.
“This was one of the most intense games the girls have played,” said Jandt. “They were focused and ready to go. Everyone really stepped up, especially when our leading goal scorer, Ayshia Gay, was out sick during the day. Hailey took charge of the offense and got things going from the start and took advantage of the opportunities we got.”
Warrior goalkeeper Josie Foster made 19 saves. The Lancers had 21 shots on goal to only five by Cal/SG/Hou.
Cal/SG/Hou 9, Triton 0
Gay scored in the third minute of play, taking a pass from Jore near the six-yard box. In the seventh minute, Alfson scored with an assist pass from Kennedy Kruse. Less than a minute later, Gay scored after taking a pass from Alfson to make it 3-0. Alfson then added a penalty-kick goal in the 10th minute.
“We were able to put up four quick points in the first half and were able to control the game for the rest of the half by holding possession,” said Jandt. “Triton’s keeper made some pretty good saves to keep our shots out of the net in the first half.
In the second half, Kruse sent a pass through the back line for an Alfson breakaway goal. A few minutes later, senior Marley Sherbon scored her first goal of the season with an 18-yard shot to the lower corner of the far post.
In the 57th minute, Cameryn Kruse broke free on the right side and sent a crossing pass to Gay in front of the goal to make it 7-0. Gay scored again, “sneaking into the six-yard box and finishing past the keeper,” recounted her coach. Jore closed the scoring in the 76th minute after collecting a rebound from her own penalty kick.
Foster was not called upon for a save with the Warrior defense not allowing any Cobra shots. Cal/SG/Hou attempted 27 shots.
Cal/SG/Hou 5, Lake City 4
The Warriors overcame a three-goal deficit before pulling out the win. Alfson and Gay each scored twice. Lake City first hit the net just five minutes into the action. The Tigers made it 2-0 when they scored on a corner kick play. The third Lake City goal came off the far post. But the Warriors responded when Cameryn Kruse beat a defender down the right side and crossed the ball in front of the goal where the Tiger keeper got a touch on the ball, redirecting it to the foot of Gay. It was 3-1 at intermission.
“Our away games on Saturdays have been difficult and (we) seem to struggle to get started,” said the coach. “It was a tough talk at halftime with the girls on how we were playing,” “The last 15 minutes of the first half, we really started to play with holding possession and creating opportunities. We needed to keep the intensity up, and we put focus on that. The girls really took it to heart and stepped up their game in the second half.”
It did not take long. An Alfson corner kick went long, but right to senior Grace Denstad, who then took it into the box and placed a shot past the goalkeeper to get the Warriors within a goal at 3-2. A few minutes later, Gay scored her second goal of the day with a breakaway that tied the score.
“That was a pretty big goal to tie up the game,” said Jandt, “and doing it as quickly as we did it in the second half. It really got the girls fired up and excited.”
But the Tigers went right down the field and again claimed the lead with an 18-yard shot off the cross bar. However, the Warriors had a response as well. An errant goal kick went to the 18-yard box where Alfson first-touched the ball off the far post to tie the score again (4-4).
Foster made a great save to preserve the stalemate, and then a handball in the penalty box sent Alfson to the penalty spot in the 72nd minute. She drilled the PK into the upper corner for the winning goal, the first Warrior lead of the game. The win came despite being outshot 26 to 17. Foster was credited with 22 saves.
“It was a crazy second half for the girls, but they fought through it and got the win,” added Jandt. “Eighth graders Siri Konkel, Loisah Gay, Macy Kraus really stepped up and played a great game when regular starters, senior Therese Jore and Marley Sherbon, were gone for the day.”
Cal/SG/H Girls Soccer 2021
4-9-2 (1-8-1 TRC)
W vs. Plainview-Elgin-Millville 3-1
L at Cotter (Winona) 0-12
L vs Dover-Eyota 1-2
L vs. Stewartville 0-2
L at St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura 0-4
L vs. La Crescent-Hokah 1-2
L at Plainview-Elgin-Millville 4-0
L vs. Cotter 0-7
W Schaeffer Academy 11-0
L at Dover-Eyota 0-10
L vs. St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura 0-2
T at Cannon Falls 1-1
T at La Crescent-Hokah 2-2
W vs. Triton 9-0
W at Lake City 5-4